“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Tonight I had the great joy of packing up 5 spiral bound books for Navajo families and praying that God will use His powerful story in their lives.
Last spring (right about now, last year), I was given a wonderful idea for teaching the Bible with the Navajo. The Navajo have a history of oral tradition- passing the great stories of Navajo creation and life down through generations by word of mouth- and my friend Paul suggested I start a new story-telling tradition among the Navajo by telling the story of the entire Bible, cover-to-cover. We started in the spring, and 21 lessons later (including a Christmas in July party to celebrate Jesus’ birth!), we were finished with Revelation.
The goal was to hear and learn the story well enough to be able to re-tell it over and over- so that everyone can hear about God’s love! We practiced by making a 30 minute video at the end of the Old Testament.
We became a little community of friends during those weeks and I promised each person that if they saved their worksheets from each week that I would take them with me to Indiana and have them made into books for them to keep. I’ve been slow in keeping my promise, and last week a little voice came over the phone asking me if I forgot. Little Aaliyah asked if I could send hers soon so she could practice telling the story, and she asked if I could send her a copy of the notes I wrote and practiced from before I told the story to them. She wants to be a story teller of God’s Great Story to her people. I took everyone’s notes and had them bound the next day- and I made up several “Story Teller” books with all the notes and scriptures that Story Night came from.
I got them back today and I can’t stop reading through them- Aaliyah went above and beyond simply filling in the blanks and coloring a picture. I didn’t realize it, but she went home and wrote out a detailed account of each story on a separate piece of paper.
Every once in awhile, you meet someone who has an obvious call of God on them. Aaliyah is one of those people. Although she is young, she is passionate about God and His word. We have been writing letters back and forth since I left, and she asks the most incredible questions about God. Pray for Aaliyah- ask God to bring people into her life to disciple her and encourage her!
You see, there are young lives like Aaliyah all over this planet who God is placing his call on. These young people will reach countless lives for Jesus and change the course of world history in the process. They are asking questions now- and who will answer them? Who will “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”? For Aaliyah, I pray her family and her church will come alongside her and do this (and I will certainly be a long-distance encourager to her!). But what of the others? In Africa, in Asia, in Europe?
I am so incredibly thankful for the people who are pouring their lives into reaching and discipling the young people of this world. It is happening here. My friends Gabe, Lane, John, Dave (among many others) are investing in young people here. This weekend, my friend John Grafton at Battle Creek Friends Church is hosting an event called Soul Blast as an outreach to the young lives around him. The event is sold out, and my Facebook feed is full of joy at what God will do this weekend in these young lives.
This is happening in Eastern and Central Europe too. Hundreds of people pouring all of their time and heart into reaching youth with the good news of God’s love- and then discipling them, teaching them to pray, to study, to obey, and to share.
God- changing the world one young life at a time.
Pray, as you read this post today, for the young people God has placed in your life. Ask God to show you how you can get involve with discipling a young person toward a deep walk with Jesus. Is there something in your church or community that you could be a part of that would reach young lives for Jesus? I bet your church’s Sunday School could use help (they can always use help!).
Many of you are a part of what God is doing overseas in areas with far fewer resources for reaching young people than we have here. My position with Josiah Venture is dedicated to getting more youth workers into areas that are desperate for them. Many of you are a part of my prayer and support team, and you are making it possible for me to dedicate more and more of each day to this task- THANK YOU! We are sending almost 100 new workers over this summer!
I do still need 42% of my ongoing (monthly or annual) support, and I’m praying for God to call people to join me in this. There is more than enough work for this to be a full-time job, but I am only allowed to work part-time because I am not at 100% yet. Would you consider joining me? If you have any questions, I’d love to get together with you and talk! You can click here to read more about what I am doing, and to contact me.
Thank you so much, for all of your prayers, support, encouragement and love through the past year and 1/2. I certainly never thought, when I started this blog, that the journey would cover such difficult, yet beautiful terrain.
Remembering the very last bit of those verses in Matthew makes all the difference:
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”